Demo day 16' WR450/450FX and 250FX..hmmmm!


15 replies to this topic
  • Jason Stevens

Posted May 10, 2016 - 04:28 PM

#1

Well crap, got the ultimate kitchen pass on Mother's Day to run from KC down to south Tulsa for a Raines Yamaha Demo day! I start off by saying "well crap" because I had in my mind the 250FX was gonna be my next scoot! I just sold an 07' 400XCW, prior to that I had an 11'YZ250F set up for woods! Background, I'm a 43 yr old Vet A enduro rider, race a few select events each spring and fall and play ride anywhere between KC and San Diego when I can. The 400 was butter smooth and was revalved to handle most everything decent. I am in good shape, so bike weight really isn't a big issued for me, i'm 205lbs, and always set my suspension up for me. YZ had Smart Perfomance, good stuff. 

 

I get to the event, meet Jason Raines and talk about the bikes etc. Jason is very helpful and knowledgeable about all these bikes and can with certainty advise what works and why with each machine! 

This area had close to a 2mile woods loop set up, tight turns, some quick straights and well rutted corners. Being Mother's Day there weren't many riders so I was able to make multiple laps at a time on each bike, then swap and go right back out to compare. 

 

I started off on the 250X smoker. Nice bike, starts so easy its silly. Nice power, felt like my 07' 250xcw smoker but with more boost everywhere! The controls were set goofy and I wasn't comfortable thus I didn't spend much time on it. Great bike but I drove 4hrs for some e-start thumpers! 

Jason told me his favorite bike was the WR but to ride the 450FX first then switch to the WR. 

I took my time just feeling out the FX, putting around and blipping the throttle, whew, there is some beef here! Controls were nice, clutch pull is simple and smooth, front brake is strong and progressive, rear brake is smooth and strong. Shifting was very nice, i have had notchy shifting on previous YZ's, not here, and i liked it. I didn't hear any funky engine noises or sounds from the high intake. After a couple of easy laps, i snapped it to attention and ripped it, wow, i never got the throttle around to the stop, there just wasn't room. This bike is very powerful and responsive, you want the front wheel up, no problem! I was shocked and impressed with hook up and plushness coming from the suspension with this much power being put down. The centralized weight it very nice, not sure what the scales say but it feels very light and turned easily and predictably, no standing up mid turn and held a rut very well. I rode up on the pegs when i could and really like being out over the front pulling 3rd gear hard in a little open flow section. This bike accelerates like nothing i have experienced, it took some time to adapt to how fast i was going so i could time my braking points, and i did come in hot to a few corners having the rear end hopping off the ground! Overall, very flickable and powerfull, would love to play with the tuner and tame some low rpm power and slow the transition into mid and upper. 

 

Having spent a while playing on the 450FX, now i jumped right on the WR450. The bike feels the same ergonomically, only a slightly more weight is noticeable, mainly in the front end, weird that the light could add anything but it felt light there was just more to turn when steering from the bars. The WR was stock with mapping and only had the throttle stop removed and pea shooter taken out. Revved freely and quickly, just not the same boost that the FX has, please don't take that statement as a negative, this bike hauls and puts down buttery smooth and robust power! I would call it all day power! I think the FX demands your attention and could wear you down if not ridden smoothly. The WR put every ounce of power to the ground, turned quickly and went where pointed, whether on the pegs or sitting down. I could imagine high mountain single track for days or fast Baja or SoCal open stuff equally. Very planted to the ground and hid its weight well also, biggest difference again, is slightly more steering effort and that is just a feeling of more weight on the front end. I had an 07'WR450 back in 11-12', it was tough and stable with Smart Performance suspension, but it felt heavy all the time! Amazing to me how the bikes hide their weight. Jason shared with me that the GYTR ECU could make the WR run just like the FX, dang, that would be impressive but really not necassary but a nice option! 

I did notice noise from the airbox restrictor, it took a few laps to get passed it but quickly just faded from my mind. Suspension felt plush and planted to the point on both bikes i just wasn't even paying attention to it, that's an amazing feat for stock components. Overall, solid bike, nice quick revving smooth power and plush feel, well done!!

 

Lastly the 250FX, having been playing on big bores for over an hour, my first lap out had me wondering where the power was! I had to mentally make the switch and remind myself to pin it and keep busy on the shifter! Once that takes over, you can get this bike rolling nicely. Immediately you can feel how light the bike is compared to the big brothers. It feels like a 125 smoker! 1st gear is for real granny low, will likely be few places where this is needed, i ran 2nd-4th. I probably should have ridden this bike first because it just felt like a lot of work twisting the grip and shifting so much to keep me on pace, to me, there is no being lazy on this bike, gotta be aggressive to get it in its element. It turned well and was very responsive and liked being revved. Seemed louder than the 450 but mainly due to being at higher rpm's. Really had me wondering if I want a bike that i have to ride that hard to be happy at my pace. Overall, shifted smooth, revved like crazy and turned without thinking, suspension again was great front and rear!

 

Decisions, decisions, later this year, i will be buying a new blue bike, my wife even said go ride all of them so you will know which one you want...hell, i want each of them! Side note, myself and another guy of equal speed took the Wr and 450FX out together, 2 laps each then switch, we both were faster on the WR but both felt the FX was the most fun. 

So not looking for a race bike, looking for a fun bike to play ride on anywhere in the country and compete on,  a handful of times in rocky rough enduro terrain. Anyone who hasn't ridden these bikes, they are all solid, well built and well suspended, look forward to owning one soon but just not 100% which one. I am going to post this in each of the forums so feedback from riders of each bike can add input. Thanks for reading my long winded babble. 

Happy trails, Jason



  • stevethe

Posted May 10, 2016 - 04:40 PM

#2

Nice review. I have the WR and couldn't live without + 4's on the ignition with the competition ECU. But I guess I'm a power fiend.

  • Jason Stevens

Posted May 11, 2016 - 09:57 AM

#3

Would you rate the power similar to the FX having the comp ECU? Given the enormity of the state you live in, what is your primary terrain of use for the WR? What is your current map doing for you?



  • stevethe

Posted May 11, 2016 - 12:31 PM

#4

The WR and FX are the same power given changing the ECU, a pipe and removing the other restrictor in the air cleaner.

I use mine for all around riding and some monster hill climbs.

  • falconjet

Posted May 11, 2016 - 02:23 PM

#5

Very nice review Jason.

 

I have an 07 WR and love it. Picked it up for $2500.

 

Would love to have either of the 450's you rode but as a senior on a "fixed" income (yea really wish I could fix it) guess I will have to stay within my means.

 

Good luck with your tough decision.



  • Jason Stevens

Posted May 11, 2016 - 07:05 PM

#6

Mr Falconjet, I hope one day to be a senior and still riding! Those 07's are tough as sledgehammers, suspension work protective gear can make those last a long time! I would ask Steve, do you feel its a better platform to start with the WR and add the ECU and de-restrict or just go for the FX and not really have to modify? I doubt I will plate and mess with any dual sport/backroading type work. Appreciate the feedback so far guys. 



  • RMK800

Posted May 11, 2016 - 08:29 PM

#7

Mr Falconjet, I hope one day to be a senior and still riding! Those 07's are tough as sledgehammers, suspension work protective gear can make those last a long time! I would ask Steve, do you feel its a better platform to start with the WR and add the ECU and de-restrict or just go for the FX and not really have to modify? I doubt I will plate and mess with any dual sport/backroading type work. Appreciate the feedback so far guys.


I can offer some input. I went with the 450FX, a lot of my riding is about 5 miles away. So I have to ride some streets to get there, only have been pulled over once and is a little bit of a pain. I love this bike so much, I guess I'm having second thoughts where I could ride it a bit down the road if I needed to. If I was to do it again, I might be leaning to the WR now.

  • stevethe

Posted May 12, 2016 - 04:54 AM

#8

Mr Falconjet, I hope one day to be a senior and still riding! Those 07's are tough as sledgehammers, suspension work protective gear can make those last a long time! I would ask Steve, do you feel its a better platform to start with the WR and add the ECU and de-restrict or just go for the FX and not really have to modify? I doubt I will plate and mess with any dual sport/backroading type work. Appreciate the feedback so far guys.


Either bike works. The WR comes with lights and I bought mine because it's a green sticker bike in California.

WR cons are paying for a YZ rear pipe section or other pipe to equal the fx.

FX cons are no lights.

Otherwise they are pretty much the same bike. The fx is supposed to be dampened a bit different but the same suspension and springs.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • RMK800

Posted May 12, 2016 - 07:17 AM

#9

Either bike works, but remember the FX title will always say "For off road use only". That can complicate things in your state if you ever want to plate it.

  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted May 12, 2016 - 06:46 PM

#10

I have a 250FX.  I share your thoughts on its power.  Funny to see riders in the YZ250F forum talk about turning the power down so it isn't so aggressive.  After coming off a 450, you want all you can get from a 250.

 

How much less nimble is the 450FX in tight woods ?   "high mountain single track" is exactly what I ride.

 

I think I'm going to run a 250FX and a 450FX and pick the bike I want to ride for the day.  I bought my 250FX used, got a great deal on it.  I'm hoping to do the same with the 450FX.  Cost for both is about 30% more than a KTM and the Yamahas will last a long, long time.

 

BTW, the stock 250FX map is about the worst you can get.  Almost any other map is better in some capacity, some quite a bit better all round.

 

I haven't ridden a 450FX yet.  I'm hoping it is a lot like my YZ250FX because I really like it, though I wish it had more power.

 

Keep us posted.  I found your impressions very helpful.



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted May 13, 2016 - 07:54 AM

#11

Your comments on the power difference between the WR and the FX is really interesting.  I'm guessing that one could make the FX into a WR and the WR into an FX power wise by changing the exhaust and ECU tuning.

 

Jimmy Lewis says almost as much in their WR review.

http://dirtbiketest....-yamaha-wr450f/



  • Jason Stevens

Posted May 13, 2016 - 05:27 PM

#12

Midlife, thanks for the link, that was a great review Jimmy did! I agree with your thoughts, if the FX can be tamed down to simlar WR smooth, I would likely go that route, but just as tempting is making the smooth WR a beast with comp kit and exhaust and tame it down for a particular ride in the nasty! I wish I could say what I am gonna do but i have months to decide and can watch more ride reports videos and such and see what happens. Thanks for all the input everyone. 



  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted May 14, 2016 - 02:32 PM

#13

Either bike works, but remember the FX title will always say "For off road use only". That can complicate things in your state if you ever want to plate it.

Exactly.  Also, think about it this way as well.  You may not want to plate it yourself, but when it comes to resale (that day will come), having a bike that is plateable could add value to the sales price.  You may not even need the lights, but those too are things that have value, despite the fact that that particular headlight works really well with a simple upgrade to a 30-40w led bulb.  I had an '08 WR and bought a baja designs headlight for it that I eventually converted to hid.  The stocker was in high demand and I sold it for a very nice price on Thumpertalk.  The enduro computer is another thing.



  • Jason Stevens

Posted May 14, 2016 - 06:53 PM

#14

Good call on the plate and title but I always use South Dakota, can plate as a non resident and when title comes back it has the off highway use removed.

  • shrubitup

Posted May 14, 2016 - 09:37 PM

#15

I rode a Yamaha demo days once. It was 2010. I had a 07 YZ250F at the time and thought the 250F would be the bike to ride at that demo day event. They had a YZ250 smoker there too. Been back on a smoker ever since. :busted:



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted May 16, 2016 - 06:11 AM

#16

We did a 35 mile woods loop yesterday.  Some of it was more open, some was very tight and technical.  I was riding my 250FX.

 

I found the 250FX a bit lacking. It makes good power when it is revving.  It is very nimble.  But when you are in those mid speed tricky technical sections where the engine isn't reving, it doesn't have the immediate power of a 450.  It is especially noticeable on technical uphill sections. 

 

Lifting the front wheel on the 250FX takes way more effort.  On a 450, it is a throttle blip.  On the 250FX, you need to preload it, clutch, pull back and time it.  Multiply that by 200 logs in a day and it is tiring.

 

My 250FX isn't set up very well at the moment, so that may have something to do with it.  I'm still sorting out suspension issues, I think it needs to be geared down a bit and I was running a questionable (for the conditions) rear tire.  Plus I'm still learning to ride a small bore 4T.

 

There were 2 telltale signs for me.  First my riding buddies said I was faster on the same trail with my 450.  One guy said that he could never keep up with me in these conditions when I'm on my 450 and he was keeping up with me on the 250FX.  Second, I was fairly tired at the end of the ride, more tired than I remember being on the 450.

 

In the right conditions the 250FX is a fantastic bike.  I'm going to keep working on mine to make it better where it isn't great. 






 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.